Being a yoga teacher is a fantastic and fulfilling job, but can also of course be nerve-wracking and anxiety inducing for some. It can be easy to second guess yourself and feel as though you simply aren't good enough at teaching to thrive in this role.
When all eyes are on you as you guide your class through a session, you have to be your most confident self in order to pass this confidence on to your students.
Confidence is something that comes from within ourselves, but is also undoubtedly something that can be learnt over time. We can work to build our self-esteem and overcome our self-doubt!
On those days when you are feeling as though you don't have the confidence to be your very best, bring your attention to the following advice!
The first thing to focus your attention on in moments of doubt is the very reasons that you wanted to teach yoga in the first place.
Perhaps you wanted to inspire others to lead healthier, happier lives. Perhaps you wanted to share your love for this spiritual practice with those who are eager to learn. Your reasons may be connected to the things that you wanted to achieve for yourself, as well as the things that you wanted to share with other people.
Each and every yoga teacher has a unique combination of reasons that they started to practice, and the same is true of why they started to teach.
Remembering these initial reasons is a great way to boost your passion for your practice, and in doing so, encourage your confidence to flow. This can help you to realise that you don't have to be absolutely amazing at all aspects of yoga, because your love and enthusiasm for it are what make you a great teacher.
Only Teach What You Know
If you try to teach beyond your capabilities then you may find this is a drain on your confidence and will leave you feeling anxious.
If you aren't 100 percent sure that you can demonstrate and explain something to the standard you would expect to be taught, then don't include this thing in your lessons. Choose instead to stick to what you know and then take the time to develop your skills in the areas that need it.
As you know, being a yoga teacher means always being a yoga student. Continuing to educate yourself and push further ahead with your own practice will equip you to better guide your own students.
Teaching something that you don't really have a full grasp on can seem appealing. It's understandable that you will want your students to view you as someone who has both experience and knowledge — but they will undoubtedly appreciate you far more for your authenticity and honesty.
By starting your lessons simple and teaching the very basics to your students at a gradual pace, you can always ensure you are completely prepared. It's okay to progress things to the next level as you learn, but doing so before you are ready can cause your confidence to take a hit — as well as possibly your reputation!
Connect With Your Class
Anxiety is something that so many of us struggle with — your students included! There is no better way to enhance your own confidence, whilst also forming genuine relationships with your students, then to work to build each other up.
Be open about your imperfections and allow your true personality to shine through in all that you do.
When your students feel that they can open up to you in return, then the bond between you will naturally grow. This can help you to see the class as an opportunity to grow and learn together, instead of something that you have to put on a performance for.
One of the biggest causes of anxiety for a new yoga teacher is that something will happen during the class to disrupt the flow of the lesson.
If you have only one plan prepared and no solid thoughts about how you might adjust this plan, then you could encounter unexpected difficulties in the lesson.
The people who attend your lesson may not have the energy for the class that you have planned, or their physical capabilities might not be what you were expecting. The lesson that you have prepared could be too complicated or it could be too easy. It could feel as though it's not the right fit for the day for a multitude of reasons.
Whilst you can't predict that this is going to happen, you can plan for it, and thereby prevent yourself from feeling as though you are lost under pressure.
Being able to calmly tackle any issue that does arise in a class will help your students to maintain their confidence in you. It will also help you to maintain your confidence in yourself and your ability to deal with future issues.
There is simply no such thing as a wasted lesson plan. If you don't call upon something that you have prepared for a class, then it will likely come in useful in the future.
Stay Grounded & Combat Anxiety
At the end of the day, you are teaching a class of people who have their own concerns and struggles. They are not expecting you to be superhuman in what you do. They will have been attracted to you as a teacher for the things that they already know that you are.
In moments of uncertainty about your abilities as a yoga teacher, try to breathe through these feelings and ground yourself.
Hopefully the aforementioned points will have enhanced your confidence and shown you that you are already doing a great job!
If you need some further guidance then check out my past post on How to Thrive As A Yoga Teacher!
Build Your Yoga Business
When you are building a yoga business there are so many things to consider and many different new things to learn. I have put together a downloadable PDF of 5 weekly habits that I urge you to embrace as you build your business!
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